Parents have withdrawn 600 children from Anderton Park School in Birmingham in protest at LGBT teaching and demanded the resignation of the headteacher.
Around 300 people also signed a petition demanding the resignation of headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson.
In a press release this morning the Anderton Park School Parents Forum explained the parent’s actions.
It said: “It has been several weeks since parents raised objections and have attempted to open a dialogue with the school concerning the promoting and prosleytising of LGBT lifestyle to our children in a manner that is unacceptable to us. The school has introduced its programme without any consultation and has misled and deceived parents when they have made enquires.
“After Ms Sara Hewitt-Clarkson (Head Teacher) had pull the shutters down on parental engagement, following which 200 letters were submitted by parents demanding a stop to the programme and to engage in an open and transparent consultation. Nothing has materialised from this submission. This reflects the disregard and contempt in which parents and their legitimate concerns and rights over the education of their children have been and continue to be violated.
“Attempts to dialogue, petition and negotiate have been consistently met with disregard and manipulative and deceitful conduct when dealing with parent’s concerns. In the media the headteacher has sought to vilify and demonise parents and the community with fabricated allegations rather than deal with their concerns and has resorted to intimidatory behaviour.
“Following a number of protests over few weeks, today over 600 pupils (80% of pupils) have been withdrawn by parents to make it crystal clear that we will not have our children indoctrinated or participating in any social engineering programmes which undermine our family values by promoting child sexualisation and proselytising LGBT ideology.
“Parents’ rights and views with respect to the education of their children must be respected and taken into account as required by the regulations and the law.
“We the parents have lost complete trust and confidence in Ms Sara Hewitt- Clarkson to care for, or preside over the education of our children. We demand her immediate resignation. Our children and School needs a fresh start to rebuild trust and confidence with the community the school serves.
“We are not homophobic and do not endorse hatred towards anyone and believe that all people should be treated with respect and dignity and that the school should promote respectful treatment for all people.”
Sara Hewitt- Clarkson has condemned the protests to the media and on her own Twitter feed where she has asked politicians and the authorities for assisstance.
Meanwhile, Jess Phillips, MP for Birmingham Yardley, wrote on Twitter: “Our equalities laws protect us all. I will not be called aggressive for wanting to protect all of the community, Muslims too. This is doing deep damage to the Muslim community and these protestors do not represent Birmingham”.
She also said it’s untrue that 600 children have been kept at home today, adding: “I’ve just been in there.”
Council leader Ian Ward said he will ask council officers to investigate using a Public Spaces Protection Order to counter the demonstrations.
He wrote: “The people of this city – of all faiths and none – are better than this. There is no place in this city for intolerance and discrimination.
“The children at Anderton Park have a right to attend school without this daily disruption and the protestors, many of whom don’t even have children at the school should back off.”